It all started with someone handing out DVDs in a Federal Reserve museum, continued with people being arrested on a public sidewalk for doing nothing, and ended with a judge reaffirming that yes, you can video police.
John [?] wrote for Next News Network a 19 October 2013, Federal Reserve Bank Settles Counterclaim with Journalist,
In May of 2011 in Missouri, Bruce Baumann was peacefully passing out DVDs with his local media chapter, WeAreChange Colorado, outside the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. However, when Baumann and fellow activist Ronald Lewis attempted to enter the Federal Reserve’s money museum, they faced resistance from the private bank’s security, which led to both of their arrest. Although this resulted in ongoing litigation for nearly 30 months following the incident, Baumann was confident that he would not only be successful in defeating the charges, but he would also be victorious in trampling the Federal Reserve Bank with a counterclaim.
Unbeknownst to Lewis, his name was previously recorded on a list due to prior protests outside the bank, which prevented him from entering the museum and Lewis was removed from the vestibule security area. While exiting, Ronald Lewis was harassed by private security. Instead of proceeding into the building, Baumann followed Lewis outside and began videotaping the incident.
Baumann claims that an officer deceitfully pretended to be harmed by Baumann in order to expand their jurisdiction outside the Federal Bank and onto city property. They were then detained and charged with interfering, resisting, and trespassing, as well as assaulting a peace officer. Even though Bruce captured the incident on his cell phone, it was subsequently confiscated by private security officers and wasn’t introduced to the case for another 8 months.
The video Baumann took on his phone apparently was the evidence that caused the prosecution to settle.
The United States addressed the central questions raised in this case — whether individuals have a First Amendment right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties, and whether officers violate individuals’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they seize such recordings without a warrant or due process — in a Statement of Interest filed in Sharp v. Baltimore City Police Dept., et al., No. 1:11-cv-02888 (D. Md.), attached here as Exhibit A. 1 Here, as there, the United States urges the Court to answer both of those questions in the affirmative.
We are the media. Remember, you have in your pocket constitutional protection.
Here’s the video: